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Fiji Time: 5:34 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Supply delays $8.7m housing project

Nasik Swami
Sunday, February 10, 2013

DELAYS still mar the $8.7million Lagilagi Housing project for the poor at Suva's Jittu Estate funded by the government and the German Catholic Agency, Misereor.

This was confirmed to this newspaper in an interview with People's Community Network Fiji consultant and housing project co-ordinator, Father Kevin Barr.

Father Barr said the shortage of cement experienced in the country last month led to the delay in the completion of the project's first phase.

"The project is proceeding slowly.

"The first phase was supposed to be completed by next month but it would be completed by the end of April or early May," he said.

Father Barr said all materials used for the construction of the project were sourced locally.

He said the government, through the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment gave $1.4m while $1.3m was allocated by Misereor to kick-start the first phase.

"Though we need more funding to reach the $8.7m mark, the funding that we have from Misereor is adequate for the first phase."

The project would provide 152 housing units that can accommodate between six to eight people.

The units will include two to three bedrooms, a kitchen and a lavatory.

He said each household would have to pay one third of the cost of a housing unit over a period of 12 years before they could own it.

Father Barr said through this, people living at informal settlements would be able to secure proper land tenure.

"Squatter settlers won't be evicted; they will have decent housing and a better living standard," he said.

The project is expected to be completed in three years and will also feature a kindergarten, playground and vegetable mart.